Provow Update

“Good morning from Svishtov!

I am thankful for the good, peaceful week the Lord gave us. It is cold outside, so we have had to limit ourselves to which hours of the day we go outside and how long we stay out, but thankfully we were able to venture out a couple of times each day.

This week I was able to register the kids for school, but we don’t yet know when they will start. I was hoping they would start tomorrow, but the school wasn’t able to get them registered in time because of COVID. They will either start later this week or will start after a one-week winter break in early February. One great thing about being in a city like Svishtov is that people in the school remembered us and were more than happy to work with us in our complicated situation.

And that sort of thing doesn’t happen just in the school! Last Sunday we went to the market and a stall vendor remembered us and gave us a jar of lyutenitsa (a sauce made from tomatoes and peppers, I think). In some of our favorite stores we are greeted by the same employees that greeted us years ago. Two days ago, we were on a walk and an old friend saw us from his apartment and went out on the terrace to talk to us. While I miss Shumen greatly, these sorts of encounters are much more common in a small town like Svishtov.

Church was amazing last week. It was full of energy and it was a joy to see new faces.

On Tuesday, we hopped on an early morning train and went to Shumen. Our goals were to see a few people from church (including my teammates the Driscolls), get a short list of toys and stuffed animals, and get the van. While it was hard being in Shumen and not seeing more people that we love, it felt so good to be back for even a little while.

On Wednesday evening I participated in a new online Bible study that Tim is leading.

On Thursday, the kids and I went to a park to spend time with my friend Peti. You might remember his name popping up a couple hundred updates ago. I am praying that he will come to church today. Also on Thursday, I helped Lydia Awtrey in her kid’s English class. We did the introductory lesson to “The Greatest Journey”, which is the follow-up curriculum to Operation Christmas Child. Please pray for the kids who come from unbelieving families to take part in this amazing Bible club.

On Saturday, we went to Tim and Lydia’s for lunch and then Tim and I went and met a new guy from church for coffee. He has a five-year old son and about a year ago his long-time girlfriend (and mother of the child) left him unexpectedly for another man. While our stories are quite different, my hope is that God can use my testimony to be a blessing to him.

We had hoped to have a family over after church today for lunch, but one of their daughters is sick, so it will just be the six of us. The boys and I have an agreement to work on some Legos, and then we will drive one hour to Pleven to be with the Postlewaites and Cashes for their evening service.

Thank you for sending us here. It is a joy to be one of your missionaries!

-Josh”

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